The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, on Saturday announced the temporary closure of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, due to the collapse of a floodlight mast.
Dare made this known in a statement after inspecting the collapsed floodlight mast.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Dare had paid a scheduled visit to the stadium on Friday, promising to make his stand known after due assessment.
However, after the tour round the stadium, the minister ordered the closure of the stadium to avert any unforeseen circumstances.
“Thank God there was no casualty. I also inspected the three other light masts and the effects of age and weather elements were visible, clearly, they are also a suspect after 51 years.
“Based on my assessment, advice of experts and in the interest of public safety, there will be a temporary closure of the stadium and surrounding facilities; proper assessment and necessary action will be taken soon.
“The concession process towards fully privatising the Surulere stadium which began last year will be expedited by the Federal Government through the ICRC towards a comprehensive rehabilitation and upgrade of the 51-year-old edifice.
“We have decided to be on the side of caution, hence the decision to impose extensive restrictions around the stadium.
“We request the cooperation of anyone who this decision may inconvenience as we cannot ascertain the reality on the ground,” said the minister.
Taraba House Of Rep Member-Elect Dies
The House of Representatives member-elect for Jalingo/Yorro/ Zing Federal Constituency Taraba State, Hon. Isma’ila Yushua Maihanchi, is dead.
Maihanchi died in the early hours of Saturday after a brief illness at an undisclosed hospital in Abuja.
An aide to the late member-elect said he will be buried according to the Islamic rites today at the national cemetery in Abuja.
FG Laments Plight Of Nigerians In Sudan, Says ‘Any Flight Now Is Gravely Risky’
The Federal Government has expressed worry over its inability to evacuate Nigerians in Sudan as a deadly crisis continues to plague the North African nation.
The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed Friday evening on Twitter that efforts had been put in place by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Nigerian Mission in Sudan.
She however noted that the authorities were experiencing challenges, particularly with regard to airlifting Nigerian nationals out of the troubled country.
“While @nemanigeria and the Nigerian Mission in Sudan have put in place necessary arrangements, any flight now is gravely risky,” Dabiri-Erewa tweeted.
“Airlines on ground at the airport were all burnt today, there is a curfew in place and no flights can operate.”
The NIDCOM boss added that humanitarian groups were making efforts to distribute food, water, and medicals, while all efforts were being put in place to hopefully get the warring parties to ceasefire.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our citizens there, and the whole country,” she said.
The country is experiencing hostilities owing to two warring generals who seized power in a 2021 coup: army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Amid the crisis, Nigerian students in Sudan cried out to be evacuated from the in-crisis country.
In response, NIDCOM on Thursday revealed that plans were already underway to see to the evacuation of Nigerians in Sudan, saying meetings were being held as to how best to handle the evacuation process.
FG Strategises On Subsidy Removal Without Disrupting Livelihoods
As the energy industry prepares for the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit otherwise known as petrol, the Federal Government says with consideration and possible action, the policy will have a human face.
Reacting to concerns over a continued regulated downstream oil sector, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Amb. Gabriel Aduda, on Friday, stated that a lot of consideration is ongoing to buffer what may be a possible shock with subsidy removal.
It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari suspended that part of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) for 18 months, and will effectively expire in June of this year.
“Subsidy removal is one that has been with us for a long time and I want to tell you that my minister is taking it very seriously – and all of us in the industry – because we totally understand the importance of the removal of subsidy,” Aduda said.
“But we also understand the greater importance of the citizens in the scheme of things. And as we speak, we’re still taking a very close look at how best to achieve subsidy without disrupting the entire ecosystem of livelihoods in Nigeria because that is our responsibility as government.”
According to him, buffers need to be in place to ensure that forex is made available for those that will do imports as well as some form of reinforcements where needed.
“There is quite a lot we need to put in place. And we also have to ensure that supplies are available for a minimum of six months ahead to ensure that, if we finally do that, the disruptions will be minimal.
“When looking at all of that, there are quite a number of factors that we need to look at. But yes, government is committed to removal, but we can’t be too specific until all the indices have been considered to ensure that the effect is not too hard on the average Nigerian,” he added.